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Teacher Incentive Fund

Current Section  Purpose
 Office of Innovation and Improvement Home

CFDA Number: 84.374A and 84.374B
Program Type: Discretionary Grants
Also known as: Teacher Incentive

What's New

In July 2014, the Teacher Incentive Fund transitioned from the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education to the Office of Innovation and Improvement.


This program provides funding for projects that develop and implement performance-based teacher and principal compensation systems in high-need schools. Performance-based compensation systems must consider gains in student academic achievement as well as classroom evaluations conducted multiple times during each school year among other factors and provide educators with incentives to take on additional responsibilities and leadership roles. The purpose of the TIF program is to support the use of performance-based compensation, and other human capital strategies that enhance and sustain performance-based compensation, in order to increase students’ access to effective educators in high-need schools, and to expand the array of promising approaches that can help these educators and other personnel succeed.


The TIF program uses performance-based compensation and related supports for educators to catalyze improvements in a district’s human capital management system to drive increased student outcomes. By providing educators with performance-based compensation, including robust career ladder opportunities and a range of related educator supports--such as peer-to-peer coaching and job-embedded professional development--the TIF program aims to improve student outcomes by increasing educators’ effectiveness.

The program has funded 131 projects to improve pay structures, reward effective teachers and principals and provide greater professional opportunities to educators in high poverty schools. The projects have served over 2,000 schools in more than 300 urban, suburban, and rural school districts in 36 states and Washington, D.C. Based on the core premise that educators have the greatest impact on student learning across various in-school factors, TIF awards competitive grants to States, districts, or partnerships with non-profit organizations.

TIF grantees have used federal funding to develop and fund teacher leadership positions and incentivize teachers to serve in high-need schools. Projects have included: teacher career pathway programs that diversified roles in the teaching force; teacher career pathways that recognize, develop, and reward excellent teachers as they advance through various career stages; incentives for effective teachers who take on instructional leadership roles within their schools; incentives that attract, support, reward, and retain the most effective teachers and administrators at high-need schools; rigorous, ongoing leadership development training for teacher leaders and principals, leadership roles for teachers aimed at school turnaround; and the creation of new salary structures based on effectiveness.

Last Modified: 10/05/2015